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Straight Stair Lifts: Guide to Straight Stairlifts for Residential Use

Straight stair lifts offer those with mobility issues the luxury of freely traveling from floor to floor in their homes. These types of staircase lifts are designed for staircases that go from one floor to the other
without curving or spiraling.

They can be mounted to either the
stairs or the wall, although they are
more commonly mounted to the stairs.
Straight stair lifts have been in use for
many years.

Interestingly, there is actually a record
of Henry the VIII using a primitive sort
of chair lift for stairs during his later
years, so the system has been around for a long time to help people remain more mobile in their homes.

What is a Straight Stair Lift?

A straight stair lift is a stairlift that is used on a straight stair case. It consists of:

  • a straight rail or track
  • a platform-lift or swivel-type seating
  • a drive train

Some types of chair lifts run on electricity, although most are battery powered. Those that do use electricity have a battery back-up. This is to ensure that no user is left helpless on the staircase, if there is a power failure.


Those who have mobility issues or trouble climbing steps are often
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relegated to the downstairs area of their homes. Some even have to move because they simply cannot access the higher floors. A stair glider enables them to remain in their homes while still safely maneuvering the steps independently.

Additionally, this type of home stair lift is relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of curved stair lifts. They work well in older homes that have sharp lined, narrow stairs. Because there is no special customization required, used stair lifts can also be purchased second-hand for a deep discount.

These have been refurbished and a warranty is offered with them when purchased from a dealer. Also, a stair lift rental system is a possibility as well, since straight lifts are the only types that are easily adapted to any stair case.

DIY stair lifts are also designed to fit straight stair cases because the stair lift installation is easy and requires no customization. The stair lift cost is substantially lower for a do it yourself model.

NOTE: Outdoor stair lifts are generally custom made for each outdoor setting, so you will need to purchase a customized lift system for this application.


The main disadvantage to stairway lifts is the cost. On average, the lowest priced costs a minimum of around $1,500.00. They are not designed for those who are extremely obese as they only hold a maximum of 350 pounds. However, these are much less expensive than a curved stair lift, that must be customized for each house.

However, some manufacturers make heavy-duty stair lifts for those who weigh more. They are much more expensive than a regular lift system for the stairs.

The only other disadvantage is how it affects the esthetics of the stairs. LIft chairs can be designed to blend into any home decor, so the esthetic is a very small concern.

Tips for Buying

  • Always carefully research the company that offers a good deal.
  • Carefully measure the staircase so that the length of track matches exactly.
  • Choose a home stairlift with a motion-sensor that detects when objects are in the track path.
  • Sit and ride in each model. Choose the one with the smoothest motion.
  • Consider renting or leasing a straight chair lift before purchase, in order to save money.

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